“I’m not coming out of the closet”

The road to figuring out my sexuality

There is no template for sexuality. Whether you’re the closeted jock or confused Christian, every individual has a unique sexuality story worth validating, discussing and listening to. I share my story today hoping my words resonate or aid someone in their journey. Throughout this reading please remember the following: “Sexuality is a spectrum,” this reading may not resonate whatsoever and that is more than okay.

To tell this story properly, I have to take you back to a very traumatic time in my life — Elementary School. It’s true what they say, kids can be MEAN and for me, there was no exception; “F*ggot,” “Queer,” “Sissy boy,” you name it, I was most likely called it. Throughout Elementary school, I never actually felt any sort of attraction towards males or felt the need to push away that part of myself as many others do. So for me, being called all these names mostly hurt because I never felt I could be myself authentically without being penalized for it, not necessarily because it was true. Looking back, It makes me sad to think young me was being called gay before he even knew what it really meant.

I often place partial blame on the Catholic school board I attended for failing its students by solely preaching heteronormative relationships in classroom settings. Attending a school where the topic of homosexuality was taboo allowed peers to feel confidence in their ignorance and perpetuated the idea that “homosexuality is a sin.” Not allowing developing minds to learn about other avenues of attraction besides man and woman instilled the mindset and or connotation that the term gay was a bad thing. It’s heartbreaking to know some kid out there believes gay is equally as derogatory as the “F word” like I once did.

Upon entering my first year of high school, I transitioned from a conservative, close-minded Catholic school to an openly inclusive and diverse public school. As time went on in this new environment, I started feeling attracted to all kinds of different gender identities.

At first, I pushed the feelings away but it wasn’t because I was ashamed of them, I just didn’t want the bullies to be right.

Not allowing myself to live authentically was easier than feeling like my elementary school bullies had won. It’s insane to think individuals who were no longer in my life still had such control over the decisions I was making.

negative emojis

Unfortunately, although attending an arts school that openly advertised inclusiveness, there were many challenges and setbacks to these circumstances as well. Before I had even officially come out, once again I was faced with bullies. A typical day consisted of whispering, stares and laughs especially as I walked by the group of hypermasculine jocks in the halls. For a school that preached equality and acceptance, it was very far from. Being discriminatory at our school was instant removal from the arts program, meaning that in order to bully me and other queer kids, the bullies just had to get creative. A moment I remember vividly was being spat on in the halls by a group of the 12th-grade “cool kids” while a few of them watched closely for teachers. I often feared using the boy’s washroom knowing it was where they often met to vape and talk poorly about other students.

All this absolutely sucks, however, it was not the start of my villain origin story. I got to a place mentally where the things people were saying or doing no longer had an effect on how I lived my life.

With all this newfound power, I made the decision to never come out of the closet publicly.

Throughout my journey, I constantly felt like I had to explain or give reasoning behind loving who I wanted so, instead of publicly justifying my sexuality for people, I just began living my truth, going on dates and loving who felt right for me in the moment.

There is no template for sexuality; sexuality is a spectrum. It was only a few years ago that I discovered I resonated more with the term Pansexual rather than Bisexual. Sexuality is unique per person and does not have a one size fits all solution.

The best advice I could give to someone who might be exploring themselves is to stop focusing on a title and hone in on the feeling. Titles are not permanent, your feelings are!

Hear Ethan tell his story!

About the Author

headshot of Ethan
Ethan Berkeley-Garcia

Ethan Berkeley-Garcia (He/Him) is a pansexual actor, singer/songwriter and model from Brampton, Ontario. He currently has released two songs which are on all major streaming platforms and hopes to release a debut album in the near future. You may have seen Ethan on television as a “sidekick news anchor” for CBC’s Recap, onstage in a plethora of musicals including but not limited to Newsies, Hairspray and The Little Mermaid or in various magazines. Besides his creative pursuits, Ethan is a huge advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and continues to use his art and platform to foster equality for all.

Illustration of group moving forward
Artwork created for It Gets Better Canada by Gwen Hovey

It Gets Better Canada is committed to connecting Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ youth to a better future

Help us uplift, empower, and connect today’s youth across Canada today!

Your donation is eligible for a charitable tax receipt

Support the Movement

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

GET UPDATES and stay connected with our stories - subscribe to our newsletter.

See more

Related Posts

National Coming Out Day Toolkit

October 11th – National Coming Out Day Toolkit Recognize the day on your platforms – click here to access our Coming Out Day social media

Advancing Queer Voices banner

Advancing Queer Voices Panel

Learn how today’s leading queer content creators are transforming TikTok and inspiring 2SLGBTQ+ youth! Register for free here Event details Date: Tuesday October 18, 2022

Making it through the fire

Making it through the fire with Owen Unruh I learned very young that I didn’t fit into the mold that had been laid out for

It Gets Better Canada is an official member of the It Gets Better International Affiliate Network.

IT GETS BETTER and IT GETS BETTER PROJECT are trademarks of Savage Love, LLC, and licensed for use on this website by the It Gets Better Project

 

Registered Charity Number 750714297 RR0001

IGB-CSA Canada

White IGBC logo
This website was made possible with the support from It Gets Better Project, a non-profit organization working to uplift, empower, and connect 2SLGBTQ+ youth around the globe.